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review 2017-02-24 22:20
Great Story and Characters
Weddings, Crushes and Other Dramas - Emily McKay

Willa’s father- Matt  was marrying Mia who was one of America’s most famous actresses and known as America’s sweetheart. Mia had a son named Finn that would also be with them he was a couple months older than Willa and ready to graduate in five months just like Willa. Finn was hot and Mia felt attracted to him and resented Finn because he was so hot and unattainable. m even though she had a boyfriend named Damien. Willa’s father was a cinematographer. Mia’s mom had died when Mia was eleven and until a couple months ago it had been pretty much just Willa and Matt even if Matt was gone a lot with his job.  Finn felt an inexplicable pull come over him whenever he was near Willa. Finn excited Willa more than her boyfriend Damien did so they stayed away from each other as much as they could. Finn thought he was falling in love with Willa but fighting it every step of the way. Willa’s best friends were Himesh and Mariely since freshman year. Willa was the lead writer for the Senior Seminar - a web series. Damien is the male lead  and horrible as the love interest but Willa doesn’t know what to do about it. Then Willa decides she wants to break up with Damien as he isn’t what she really wants. She goes to Finn for advice and he kisses Willa and it is her very first kiss. They are now staying at home while their parents are on their honeymoon for the better part of the  next three weeks. Finn was excited that Willa had kissed him back.

I absolutely loved this story. The plot was absolutely great. I loved the way it was written. Willa going out with Damien to protect her heart. I felt bad the Willa was so scared of loving and being let down as she basically had been all her life.  I felt like i was there with Willa and Finn and everyone else. I loved how Mariely pointed out to Willa about why she went out with Damien and made Willa reexamine why she did the things she had. I can’t think of anything i didn’t like about this YA story. It was the best one I had read in a long time and my new favorite. I loved the characters and the ins and outs of this story and I highly recommend

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review 2016-01-09 00:00
Why Do Dramas Do That? Part 1
Why Do Dramas Do That? Part 1 - Javabeans,Girlfriday

Short and to the point, the first part of Why Do Dramas Do That? is a fun overview of the wide expanse of Korean dramas. From culture specific terms/honorifics to common filming locations to the overuse of clichés, the two authors do their best to explain the cultural norms and expectations that might be impenetrable to non-Korean audiences.

The book could easily be divided into three sections: the first discusses important language functions and ideas that not have English counterparts, or least exist differently in Korean than they do in English. By far this is the most well organized section of the book, and the authors use very good examples from popular K-dramas to prove their points. It would have been very easy to write dry and dictionary-like explanations of the terms and concepts--and I have no doubt that I could hop on Wikipedia to find just that--so the efforts put forward an entertaining tone into the educational nature of the book is greatly appreciated. It's very apparent that both Javabeans and Girglfriday are quite knowledgeable about the topic.

From language conventions, the book moves onto "behind the scenes" trivia, which was the most interesting to read altogether. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the Korean television industry is the complete opposite its American counterpart in every single way, in both execution and philosophical conception. Learning about the practices of live-shooting, for example, was extremely illuminating to terms of how dramas are created and how Korean fans affect the production of a show. Additionally, a substantial amount of time is spent describing the urban housing market of Seoul, the reputations that its various neighborhoods have, and how it's reflected in Korean drama. I personally would have liked to learn a little bit more about non-Seoul or more historical locations, but it didn't hamper my enjoyment of the book.

My praise, however, ends with the final half of the book. The meat (and selling point) of Why Do Dramas Do That? is answering questions about frequent cliches or archetypes within Korean media, and the book unfortunately falls flat. Too often, questions are answered with "well, it makes for good drama!" followed by a few examples of shows that utilize the stated cliché. There is very little explanation given for why certain aspects resonate so well with its native audience. It's a shame, because when the book actually does explain why Koreans like certain elements so much (f'ex, why Cinderella-esque narratives are so common), it's genuinely interesting. While it's understandable that the authors wouldn't want to rely to much on cultural generalizations or stray too far from drama-related facts, it ultimately ends on an underwhelming note.

Because of the short length and the amount of general information that can be found elsewhere, I would recommend waiting to buy this book when Part 2 and Part 3 are released. However, if you're the type of person who is mildly interested in the topic and you have a free afternoon to spend, it probably wouldn't be a disappointing read.

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review 2015-09-01 00:05
The Twilight Zone Radio Dramas-Volume 29
The Twilight Zone Radio Dramas, Volume 29 - Stacy Various Performers Keach,Various

This was an excellent collection of Twilight Zone radio plays.

 

Stacey Keach was the main narrator, (the Rod Serling, so to speak), then each radio play had its own celebrity narrators.

 

This collection featured 3 stories, I believe, that were written by Dennis Etchison, one of my favorite short story authors. With great writing like that, this collection already had a lot going for it. Add to that some superb celebrity narrators like Malcolm McDowell and you've got a home run!

 

This collection of radio dramas was a lot of fun and I highly recommend them!

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text 2015-08-24 18:05
The Twilight Zone Radio Dramas-Volume 29
The Twilight Zone Radio Dramas, Volume 29 - Stacy Various Performers Keach,Various

These TZ radio dramas are super cool!

 

 

All of them have sound effects and some have celebrity actors. I was browsing through the audio books at my local library and they had a ton of these! (I did find a few single ones at Amazon for only .95, but they only contained one story while these volumes have multiple stories.)This volume, (29), has 6 episodes. What fun!

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review 2014-07-29 14:24
Doesn't Quite Do Enough - Call The Vet by Anna Birch
Call the Vet: Farmers, Dramas and Disasters – My First Year as a Country Vet - Anna Birch

[Thanks must first and foremost go to the kind people at Random House/Ebury for providing me with an ARC - it cost me no monies, but I'm going to complain anyway.]

 

When I was 9, we took The Cat of the time to see our local vet, Mr Gilbert. Unlike these modern times full of trendy young things with whom I am on first name bases, Mr Gilbert could only ever be known as Mister Gilbert. I don't know how old he was exactly, but it was probably at least 192 because after he'd finished sticking pointy things into The Cat, he suggested I - who had been stroking her head and reassuring her in the manner of a 9-year-old who recognises this creature is the closest she's going to get to a pony - would make an excellent veterinary nurse. Hopefully he died soon afterwards and was spared the influx of wimmins into his profession, wimmins who were actual vets with actual qualifications and the actual ability to get really intimate with a cow.

 

Interestingly, a few years earlier than that, Anna Birch was told by her school that she wouldn't be be study the sciences because, as an all girl school, they didn't offer them. Happily, some years later, encouraged by her then boyfriend, Birch attended vet school as a mature student, qualified, and landed her first job in a small town in Dorset near the coastal town of Bridport. Bridport is where Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall hangs out. I've never been, but I'm convinced they eat cous cous there.

 

Initially, I didn't think much of Call The Vet. I was inevitably going to make comparisons with the master, James Herriot - indeed, the book does itself - and the first chapter felt tremendously derivative. I'm not a vet and have no first hand experience of the correct response to a cow with a prolapsed uterus (although I can tell you what mine would be) but it all feels very familiar: large organ to be fed through a small hole, doubt, fear, even the trick with the wine bottle *crosses legs*. 

 

From there, I did find myself warming to it. It's less focused on the animal stories than James Herriot is, sometimes to its detriment. I'm not the greatest carer-about of romance anyway and Call The Vet spends too much time for my taste chronicling Birch's relationship - yay for her and everything, but I didn't find it terribly interesting. I'm here for the anal glands. 

 

Overall, it's not quite there. It doesn't do any of the things I'd hoped for with enough aplomb. It's not funny enough - although there's material, it's only written with an adequate comic hand. It's not interesting enough - while I did learn something, my impression is of more time spent on Birch's dog and her own feelings of inadequacy. It lack cohesion - the introductory language to Birch's colleagues is used two chapters in a row; the "it wasn't like this for James Herriot" sentiment is used more than once. Frustratingly, there are the glimmers of something more - following a disastrous/cringingly funny moment with an under-anaesthetised dog (which is criminally underwritten), Birch is told by the office colleague she roped in as assistant "I was scared and you were stupid", but this never extends into self-awareness. The "characters" left little impression on me.

 

While there are certainly worse ways to spend an afternoon than lying in a postdrome stupor reading this book while Wren licks your feet, I'm not really seeing anything here to recommend it particularly. If you want a "my first year as a vet" book, this is just about "fine".

 

2.5 stars.

 

 

 

 

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